Liquor Regulation Proposal Advances to Md. General Assembly - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Liquor Regulation Proposal Advances to Md. General Assembly

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BERLIN, Md.- The Worcester County Commissioners support a plan to bring private-liquor sales to the town of Berlin.

Last month, Berlin officials backed a proposal that would allow business owners to apply for a Class D liquor license. The permit would allow store and restaurant owners to sell liquor without food sales, if a bar with at least 25 seats is on-site. 

Cody Bates opened The Burley Inn Tavern a couple of months ago. He buys all of his liquor from the county's dispensary, located outside of corporate limits, along Route 50. It's the same place that serves people like Gina Ashton, who live in Berlin.

"I think it's a bit more inconvenient," Ashton said. "I think there is more of a need for a local liquor store that is closer to the metropolitan area of Berlin." 

Last year, Worcester County's Department of Liquor Control moved the town's only retail liquor off-sale operation away from the downtown area , leaving no immediate place within town limits to buy or take home alcohol.

Bates plans to apply for a Class D license so he can give customers some options.

"I think there is a demand for it [liquor sales]," Bates said. " We have a lot of complaints from customers about the fact that they have to go so far away to buy a bottle of liquor or things like that, if they need it."

The commissioners initially rejected the proposal in a closed session earlier this month. Now that the decision is reversed, the measure is headed to the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. 

State Del. Michael McDermott (R-38B) said the bill could soon include other areas in the county that support private liquor sales.

"We've called other municipal governments and asked them if they want to go ahead and be apart of that as well, so we can make all the changes at the same time," Del. McDermott said. 

Delegate McDermott said Pocomoke and Snow Hill support private liquor sales in Worcester County.


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